A very busy day for the Falcons is continuing. Atlanta has agreed to terms on a new contract with defensive tackle David Onyemata, per Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (Twitter link). In a follow-up, he adds that the pact is worth $35MM over three years, with $24.5MM fully guaranteed.
The 30-year-old former Saint was one of few high-end DTs in this year’s free agent class. He has not wasted time in finding a home with this intra-divisional agreement. By joining the Falcons, Onyemata will be able to continue working with Ryan Nielsen, who served as the Saints’ co-defensive coordinator last year after years as a d-line coach.
Nielsen is now in place as DC in Atlanta, a team which entered the offseason with a number of roster holes. An upgrade along the defensive interior was one of several priorities, and signing Onyemata should help significantly in that regard. The former fourth-rounder has been a consistent contributor across his time in New Orleans, seeing a snap share of at least 60% in each of the past three seasons and four overall.
A rare product of the Canadian collegiate system, Onyemata has made 68 starts and 103 total appearances. His pass-rush production (including five sacks in 2022) will lead to significant expectations for him in Atlanta, as the Falcons will have a high-end tandem with he and Grady Jarrett in the middle of their defensive front.
Atlanta has already traded for tight end Jonnu Smith and re-signed right guard Chris Lindstrom to an historic extension today. This deal is one of likely several which will be aimed at helping their defense take a step forward in 2023. Onyemata, meanwhile, will see a notable raise from his previous deals as he looks to prove his with a new NFC South employer.